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Classes & Programs

JRC Religious School 2021-2022 Programs & Curriculum

 

JRC, and our entire Religious School staff are excited to welcome you to our program for the 2021-2022 year! We know that the new school year brings with it many concerns and challenges. We have developed a meaningful, fun and flexible program that will be easy for families to navigate.

Weekend Religious School Curriculum

Preschool

Sundays, 10:00 am to 12:00 pm
5 Saturdays in place of Sunday – Kehilah: Doing Jewish Together Family Program 10:00 am to 12:00 pm

Preschool families learn about Jewish holidays, values and symbols through arts & crafts, creative play, stories, food and music. Preschool families will build relationships with each other and to the greater JRC community. 

Kindergarten & 1st Grade

Sundays, 10am – 12pm
5 Saturdays in place of Sunday – Kehilah: Doing Jewish Together Family Program 10am -12pm

Our Kindergarten students are introduced to the beauty of Jewish life, customs and traditions. Students begin to develop their own Jewish identity and pride in being Jewish. Through stories, crafts, creative play, games and music learners will experience and understand what it means to be a part of Jewish community at JRC and beyond. Learners also learn the holiday stories along with the key ritual objects, vocabulary and blessings. 

2nd Grade

Sundays 10:00 am to 12:00 pm
5 Saturdays in place of Sunday – Kehilah: Doing Jewish Together Family Program 10:00 am to 12:00 pm

Our 2nd grade curriculum uses Shalom Learning to explore Jewish values and holidays through literature and art! Each lesson includes an introduction to an artist, author or musician, and students will be empowered to create their own original works of art connected to the theme of the lesson in the style of the artist. Additionally, they learn about the people and ritual objects found in the synagogue, particularly the Torah – and they create a Torah of their own!

 

3rd Grade

Sundays 10:00 am to 12:00 pm
5 Saturdays in place of Sunday – Kehilah: Doing Jewish Together Family Program 10:00 am to 12:00 pm

Third graders explore the Jewish Values through the lens of Family. Looking at values like Teshuvah (taking responsibility for our actions), B’tzelem Elohim (honoring the image of God in ourselves), Achrayut (doing what you can to make the world a better place), and Hakarat Ha’Tov (seeking joy and being grateful), learners will explore universal questions using Jewish values and tools. Lessons incorporate Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) skills that enable them to build positive relationships and make responsible decisions, and through the values, students explore Jewish text, history, tefillah, and holidays.

 

4th Grade

Sundays 10am – 12pm
5 Saturdays in place of Sunday – Kehilah: Doing Jewish Together Family Program 10am -12pm

Fourth graders explore the Jewish Values through the lens of Self. Looking at values like Teshuvah (taking responsibility for our actions), B’tzelem Elohim (honoring the image of God in ourselves), Achrayut (doing what you can to make the world a better place), and Hakarat Ha’Tov (seeking joy and being grateful), learners will explore universal questions using Jewish values and tools. Lessons incorporate Social and Emotional Learning (SEL) skills that enable them to build positive relationships and make responsible decisions, and through the values, students explore Jewish text, history, tefillah, and holidays.

 

5th Grade

Sundays 10:00 am to 12:00 pm
5 Saturdays in place of Sunday – Kehilah: Doing Jewish Together Family Program 10:00 am to 12:00 pm

This year, we’ll be exploring the categories of order (seder) and wonder (yira) in Jewish life, looking at our need for rules, keva, and obligation on one hand and at the importance of curiosity, kavvanah, and personal conviction on the other. For the first half of the year, we will be working to create art and writing for a new JRC Youth and Family Siddur (prayerbook). Learners will learn the purposes of prayer, the traditional order of the service, and the meanings of individual t’filot by using art to illustrate these pieces based on our learning. In the second half of the year, we will turn our attention to Passover, the story of Exodus, and the obligations of freedom: namely, the obligation that we have as free people to take care of others and to work toward building a more just world. As a way of working towards this obligation, we will organize a social justice project, gathering funds throughout our programs to be redistributed to organizations that help local families in need.

 

6th Grade

Sundays 10am – 12pm
5 Saturdays in place of Sunday – Kehilah: Doing Jewish Together Family Program 10am -12pm

What does it mean to become a Jewish adult, or really, a Jewish teen? Learners will explore of these questions in sessions like; . Learners will also use the AVODAH: The Jewish Service Corps Curriculum called Tikkun Olam Our Turn which will help them develop their own B’nai Mitzvah service projects and also guide them in creating a class project.

Weekday Programming

JRC’s Tuesday Religious School programming for 3rd – 6th Grades creates opportunities to deepen our skills in Hebrew, in prayers, and in Torah. Additionally, there is time to deepen the bonds of community with different groups of students than on Sundays.

Tuesday Religious School Curriculum

Community Tefillot for 3rd through 6th Grade

4:15 pm to 4:40pm

Each Tuesday grades 3rd – 6th grader learners begin the day with inspiring and creative clergy-led service by Rabbi David and Cantor Howard. These weekly services help students prepare for B’nai Mitzvah through a spiritual, meaningful and fun prayer environment where learners are exposed to the melodies and motions, prayer themes, and are given opportunities to lead as the year progresses.

Torah Study By Grade

4:45 pm to 5:10pm

Following the service, students will break into their classes for opportunities to engage with the weekly Torah portion through creative modalities, that include movement, art, creative writing, and more! Our goal is to help students gain greater knowledge of the rhythms and structure of the Torah in fun and creative ways that help them connect the Torah’s teaching and values to their own lives.

Breirot for 3rd & 4th Grade

5:15 pm to 5:55pm

Breirot, meaning electives, are opportunities for learners to have choice in how they engage, as well as to encounter new groups of students and friends who aren’t in their Sunday class. Details regarding this year’s breirot are still be determined, but here are examples of past Breirot.

Small Group Hebrew For 5th & 6th Grade

5:15 pm to 5:55pm

During the final time block on Tuesdays, our 5th and 6th grade students participate in our small group Hebrew cohorts of five students or fewer. In the 2021-2022 calendar year we will offer opportunities for both in-person Hebrew groups and online Hebrew groups. Students receive the personalized attention that they need in these groups and make significant progress each week. This year our program will utilize a combination of print and digital materials from JLearnHub. Beginning students will start learning the letters and the vowels using Hebrew Step By Step, and students who have learned the letters and vowels will move onto JLearnHub’s Beit Midrash Prayer Literacy, which helps students continue to practice Hebrew through the study of B’nai Mitzvah Prayers.

Introduction to ShalomLearning JLearnHub Program from ShalomLearning on Vimeo.

7th Grade

6:00 pm to 8:00 pm

7th Graders will use Moving Traditions B’nai Mitzvah curriculum sessions for 7th grade, as well as begin their introduction to the Holocaust, including a visit to the Illinois Holocaust Museum. Additionally, learners will use Moving Traditions’ Kulam program, which equips Jewish teens of all genders to engage in dynamic and authentic conversations in order to think reflectively, act courageously, and develop healthy, honest relationships. In this program, Jewish teens ask big questions about where, why and how they belong while exploring issues of identity, equity, and justice through Jewish lenses.